A couple weekends ago, I was supposed to take the kids to a local horse rescue ranch for a playgroup. We got up, started our morning routines, and prepared to meet our day.
While putting on his socks, Joseph looked at me and said, “What are we going to do today?”
“I thought we’d stare at the ceiling and count cracks,” I teased, wrestling Elizabeth into her pants.
“We can’t do that! We can’t stay home. We’re supposed to do something.”
“We NEVER do anything. I’m bored.”
I stared at my son, my mouth hanging open. “We just went to Disneyland. Your dad took you to the zoo. We have your friends over for dinner every Thursday. You have a standing playdate with your best friends every Friday. How can you possibly think you don’t ever do anything?”
“If we don’t do something today,” he warned, “I’m going to be bored.”
I sat for a moment, thinking.
When I was a kid, my parents never arranged playdates. We didn’t have regular scheduled activities – unless you count church, which, to be honest, was kind of boring. We played in the house, around the house, and once – before our mother realised what we were doing – on the house.
I remember telling my mum I was bored.
And I remember her telling me if I was so bored, she needed help weeding the garden.
Which miraculously cured my bored.
It bothered me that my son thought every day must have an event, an activity, in order for it to be fun or interesting. So, I canceled the horse trip. I determined we’d have a day in the house with no TV, no video games, no computer games.
And I wasn’t going to entertain them in any way.
They would have to entertain themselves.
It took about an hour for them to get the point, but by the end of the day, when I asked if he’d been bored, it was my son’s turn to look at me in surprise. “No! I had a great day.”
I’m thinking I need to slow down on the activities more often.